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HNHU Media Release: Adventures in Breastfeeding Returns for Third Straight Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SIMCOE, September 26th, 2017 – For the third straight year, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) is celebrating National Breastfeeding Week with their social media campaign “Adventures in Breastfeeding.”

“As part of last year’s campaign, we asked the public’s opinion about women openly breastfeeding in public and the input helped inform the theme for this year’s campaign,” says Courtney-Brooke Laurie, public health dietitian at the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. “Not everyone is aware women have the right to breastfeed in public under the Ontario Human Rights Code. They should never be asked to cover up or to move to a private space.”

Health Canada promotes exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and continued for up to two years or longer with appropriate complimentary feeding. However, breastfeeding can be a challenging process for both mom and baby. Local breastfeeding stats show that while 86% of mothers initiate breastfeeding, only 20% of moms continue to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months.

The fewer challenges mothers face to sustain breastfeeding the better. The fear of being judged or discriminated against doesn’t need to be one of them. The overarching goal of this campaign is to keep the conversation going and support families on their adventure with breastfeeding.

Starting Monday, October 2nd, the HNHU will be posting daily messages about breastfeeding on their Facebook page. Breastfeeding moms [past and present] as well as partners, friends, and family members who have supported breastfeeding moms will be encouraged to share their stories.

The campaign will run until October 6th with the hope that the momentum to support public breastfeeding will grow and that everyone can adopt the attitude of breastfeeding “anytime, anywhere.”

The campaign supports ongoing efforts by the HNHU to improve acceptance of breastfeeding in public. Both Haldimand and Norfolk counties have policies that encourage and support community members who visit county buildings to breastfeed in public areas of the premises.  “We want mothers visiting our facilities to feel comfortable to breastfeed their babies,” said Tony Dalimonte, Haldimand Councillor Ward 4 and chair of the Health and Social Services Advisory Committee. However, both policies state that if a mom requests a private space to nurse her child, one will be provided.

The HNHU is currently working towards earning the Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) designation. BFI is a global program of the World Health Organization and UNICEF that supports mothers to make an informed decision about feeding their child. A BFI designation indicates that an organization recognizes the importance of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding.

For more information about the Adventures in Breastfeeding campaign or about breastfeeding in general, please visit hnhu.org/breastfeeding

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Media Contact:

Courtney-Brooke Laurie
Public Health Dietitian
Maternal Child Health Team
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
519-426-6170 / 905-318-6623 Ext. 3237
courtney.laurie@hnhu.org